Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
It’s a rainy St. Patrick’s Day. Of course it’s been raining for quite a stretch now, and it appears (if the weather forecasts are correct) that we’ll be into some wetness for a bunch of days ahead (yippee). I’ve been consistently saying this tongue-in-cheek comment lately: “Oh, look…it’s raining!” When we live in the Northwest, I guess it’s just part of the deal.
I’ve been told that the Northwest is similar to the wet and cold of Northwestern Ireland where Patrick began to meet with the God of his youth.
Patrick was not born an Irishman, but was actually a Roman citizen in Britain during the final years of the 4th century During his teenage years Celtic raiders were barbarically carrying off women and children as slaves throughout the Empire of Rome. At the age of 16 Patrick was snatched from his bed and taken into captivity as a slave in Ireland. His particular role as a slave was to shepherd sheep. This was lonely and exhausting work that went on for six years. It was during his time of forced servitude in the wet and cold sheep fields of Northwestern Ireland that Patrick’s became a Christian. Here are his own words:
“After I reached Ireland I used to pasture the flock each day and I used to pray many times a day. More and more did the love of God, and my fear of him and faith increase, and my spirit was moved so that in a day [I said] from one up to a hundred prayers, and in the night a like number; besides I used to stay out in the forests and on the mountain and I would wake up before daylight to pray in the snow, in icy coldness, in rain, and I used to feel neither ill nor any slothfulness, because, as I now see, the Spirit was burning in me at that time.” Confession of St. Patrick, Christian Classics Ethereal Library http://www.ccel.org/ccel/patrick/confession.iv.html
Catch this: in the snow, icy coldness, and rain, he sensed the warmth of the Spirit burning in him. He didn’t feel ill nor slothful. He was moved to deep times of prayer, and God’s love was increasing in him.
This is a great reminder for us during this long stretch of rainy, cold weather. Prayerfully allow the warmth of the Spirit of God to draw you towards his heart. Even in the mundane, the lonely or the exhausting times of our lives, we can discover an increase of the love of God, fear of God and faith in God.
Be encouraged today. Keep going!
* Our high schoolers are heading to CA this weekend for their missions trip to LA. We would love your prayers to support them as they are gone.